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Stroh, Hofeldt and Blackcrow shine at First Ever All Girls State Wrestling Tournament

 

February 24, 2021

The Chinook Sugarbeeter and Harlem Lady Cat Wrestling Teams were in Billings this past weekend taking part in the historic first ever All Class Girls State Wrestling Tournament. The Blaine County Wrestlers turned in a fine performance, placing three on the podium. Chinook Sugarbeeter senior Rebecca Stroh capped her wrestling career with a second place finish in the 113 pound weight class.

The Chinook Sugarbeeter and Harlem Lady Cat Wrestling teams headed south this past weekend in the first ever All Class Montana Girls State Wrestling Tournament held at Lockwood High School in Billings. The Blaine County grapplers performed very well at the historic event, placing three on the podium. Chinook senior Rebecca Stroh completed a monumental four year career with a second place finish in the 113 pound weight class.

Chinook freshman Ryley Hofeldt also earned a spot on the podium, finishing fourth at 132 pounds. Harlem sophomore Amilia Blackcrow became the first Lady Cat to earn a spot on the podium, finishing fourth in the 145 pound weight class.

Stroh has been a ground breaker in the sport of Girls Wrestling the past four years and plans on continuing in the sport as a coach in the future. She began her high school wrestling career by competing against the boys. Stroh became the first girl to place in the Class B/C State Tournament with a sixth place finish. In doing so she became just the third girl to do so amongst all classifications in the state.

She also accomplished another first on February 9, 2018. In the opening match of the 103 pound tournament she defeated Anacondas Tjo Friis by pin at 5:47 in the first all girl match at the Montana State All Class Wrestling Tournament.

Stroh would continue to wrestle the boys and each year there seemed to be a few more girls in the sport for her to wrestle. She moved to the 113 pound division her sophomore season and has wrestled there ever since.

Finally in her senior season, what was hardly imaginable to her as a freshman, there would be an all girls state wrestling tournament.

It would take some promoting and some research to get things right, but in the end they came up with a plan and put together a very successful tournament.

The decision was made to include 10 weight classes based on numbers of competitors through the season, and to hold the event in Billings at Lockwood High School. That final decision came just weeks prior to the events start date.

Even during a pandemic, the excitement of such an historic tournament rose to the top and history was made.

The Chinook contingent included just Stroh and Hofeldt. The Lady Cats sent five wrestler to compete. In addition to Blackcrow, Harlem was represented on the mat by freshman Kaitlyn Johnson (126), senior Tia Kuntz (152), senior Kaaliya Schmitt (170) and junior Savannah Buckman (170).

Stroh began her tournament with four consecutive pins on her way to the championship match. First she pinned Madyson Gilbert of Glacier in 2:00. Then made short work in match number two pinning Circle's Cierra Norton in :47. In her quarterfinal match against Butte's Aydin Gonzalez, Stroh collected the pin at the 1:27 mark.

Championship Saturday began with a semifinal pin of Rusty Torres (Billings Skyview) in 3:02. The Championship match had Stroh taking on Jazmin Gorder of Poplar. Stroh competed hard but fell by pin fall at the 3:08 mark.

Hofeldt Started the tournament with a 6-2 decision over Emma Gambino (Flathead). In round two Hofeldt picked up a win by pin at 3:20 over Flathead's Lily Conover. Hofeldt fell in the 132 pound semifinal match to Valier's Skylar Connelly by pin fall (:15).

Hofeldt bounced back in the consolation semifinal with a win by fall over Anaconda's Ryleigh Warner (2:21). In the consolation final Hofeldt was bested by Paige Gershmel (Billings Senior) by fall to finish fourth in the 132 pound division.

Blackcrow wrestled at 145 pounds and began her tournament by pinning Glacier's McKenna McCarthy in 2:41. She then won her quarterfinal match over Sadie Grove (Choteau) by fall at 2:45. Blackcrow then suffered her first loss of the tournament to Aleeyah Derlatka (Flathead) by fall.

Blackcrow responded by pinning McCarthy a second time in the consolation semifinal, this time in (:42). Her tournament concluded with a loss by a 13-10 decision on the consolation final to Billings Senior's Gracie Jones to finish fourth in the 145 pound division.

Stroh certainly left her mark on the sport, that's for sure, and looking back on it she seems content, "It has been a whirlwind for sure. I am so fortunate to have had a community and team to support me and push me through out the years. I am sad to see it end but I am so happy I got to be part of the beginning of the sport!"

Stroh is a big part of why girls wrestling is here today, breaking through doors that needed to be knocked down, "I am so happy to see girls wrestling not only growing in the state but also on the hi-line. We might not have brought the quantity of girls to the State Tournament but we definitely brought good quality girls! I plan to continue to be part of girls wrestling."

Her time with Hofeldt will surely help in her teammates success moving forward, "The biggest thing I have told her is to work hard, it will show in the end." As for girls who want to wrestle in the future, "Remember to be yourself. Don't let anyone change you. Also If you want to do something go ahead a do it!"

MHSA Girls State Wrestling Championships

- Chinook Sugarbeeters –

113 lbs. – Rebecca Stroh (20-5) Placed 2nd and scored 28.0 Team points: Round 1 - Won by fall over Madyson Gilbert (Glacier (Kalispell) 0-11 (2:00); Round 2 - Won by fall over Cierra Norton (Circle) 2-21 (0:47); Quarterfinal - Won by fall over Aydin Gonzalez (Butte) 7-7 (1:27); Semifinal - Won by fall over Ruste Torres (Billings Skyview) 10-3 (3:02); Championship Match - Lost to Jazmin Gorder (Poplar) 16-3 by fall (3:08).

132 lbs. – Ryley Hofeldt (9-10) Placed 4th and scored 16.0 Team points.: Round 1 - Won by decision over Emma Gambino (Flathead) 8-3 (Dec 6-2); Quarterfinal - Won by fall over Lily Conover (Flathead) 9-3 (Fall 3:20); Semifinal - Lost to Skylar Connelly (Valier) 12-3 by fall (0:15); Cons. Semi - Won by fall over Ryleigh Warner (Anaconda) 4-7 (Fall 2:21); 3rd Place Match - Lost to Paige Gershmel (Billings Senior High School) 13-3 by fall (0:26).

- Harlem Lady Cats -

The Chinook Sugarbeeter and Harlem Lady Cat Wrestling Teams were in Billings this past weekend taking part in the historic first ever All Class Girls State Wrestling Tournament. The Blaine County Wrestlers turned in a fine performance, placing three on the podium. Harlem sophomore Amilia Blackcrow finished fourth in the 145 pound weight class.

126 lbs. – Kaitlyn Johnson (3-9): Round 1 - Lost to Cheyenne D`aigneau (Billings Senior High School) 11-4 by fall (1:11); Cons. Round 1 - Received a bye; Cons. Round 2 - Lost to Bella Arriaga (Flathead) 11-3 by fall(2:00).

145 lbs. – Amilia Blackcrow (5-3) Placed 4th and scored 18.0 Team points: Round 1 - Won by fall over Mckenna Mccarthy (Glacier (Kalispell) 4-4 (2:41); Quarterfinal - Won by fall over Sadie Grove (Choteau) 14-8 (2:45); Semifinal - Lost to Aleeyah Derlatka (Flathead) 10-2 by fall (1:34); Cons. Semi - Won by fall over Mckenna Mccarthy (Glacier (Kalispell) 4-4 (0:42); 3rd Place Match - Lost to Gracy Jones (Billings Senior High School) 7-4 by decision 13-10.

152 lbs. – Tia Kuntz (0-5) - Round 1 - Lost to Lindsey Faldzinski (Cascade) 12-6 by fall (0:44); Cons. Round 2 - Lost to Anna Stutz (Choteau) 18-5 by fall (1:38).

170 lbs. – Kaaliya Schmitt (2-4) - Round 1 - Lost to Chi Gushi (Belgrade) 5-5 by fall (0:34); Cons. Round 1 - Lost to Juna Ashby (Frenchtown) 8-3 by fall (0:37).

170 lbs. – Savanna Buckman (0-5) - Round 1 - Lost to Trinity Karls (Billings Senior High School) 3-8 by fall (2:35); Cons. Round 2 - Lost to Chi Gushi (Belgrade) 5-5 by fall (0:30).

 
 

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